The information received on Thursday from artificial Earth satellites demonstrated that the number of taiga fires in the territory of the Siberian federal district grew sharply during yesterday. According to the operative duty officer of the Siberian regional centre of the Emergencies Ministry, presently they monitor about 100 fire hotbeds. Especially suffering from fires are forests in the Tuva republic where taiga forests in the territory of over 450 hectares are enveloped by fire. 70 fire hotbeds are registered in the Irkutsk region. They are spread in the territory of over 300 hectares. Dry and warm weather is contributing to emergence of new fires in the forests of the Chita region, in Khakassia and in southern regions of the Krasnoyarsk territory. Fire-fighters and local residents are summoned to fight fires.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign